Games Inbox: What if Sony had never entered the games industry?

What if it never happened? (pic: Sony)

The Tuesday letters page tries to imagine a sci-fi take on Elden Ring, as one reader asks whether Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is too difficult.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@metro.co.uk

What if?
I’ve seen some talk recently that Microsoft has not made the most of its potential since entering the games industry and while I’ve never thought of it like that before I can see what people are getting at, especially if you compare them to Sony , who hit it out of the park first time with the original PlayStation and then followed up with the GOAT PlayStation 2.

But what if they never had? What if someone at Sony said no to making their first console and they just carried on with only TVs or kept their deal with Nintendo or whatever?

That would mean that Sega and Nintendo would remain as the two console giants and Microsoft may well not have entered the business either, as they famously only joined because they wanted to stop Sony from gaining dominance. Or perhaps they would, I don’t see either Sega or Nintendo compensating for the lack of Sony with their own push for CD-based systems and more adult oriented games.

Nintendo definitely wouldn’t have, but I think Sega was a spent force even by the end of the Mega Drive era. So what does that mean? That video games would never have evolved properly, or at least been put back considerably, without Sony? I think it does. Like them or not the industry just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Alien influence
Am I the only one or was that new (final?) Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer just a big fat nothingburger? I’m sure the game will be great and everything but I learned absolutely nothing from the trailer that I didn’t know before. Apparently there will be stormtroopers and aliens in it, and the people from the last game, and… some baddie guy that nobody seems to recognize. I already knew that.

Also, why are the two human leads – Cal and this new guy – so generic? They’re just ‘man’ and ‘other man’. There’s a distinct lack of aliens in Star Wars media nowadays, I guess because it’s expensive, but surely a video game would’ve been the place where you can have more aliens and make them the main characters too.

That would’ve been a lot more visually interesting. I did like the little guy getting bullied by the bounty hunter or whoever it was though, that looked cool. Why couldn’t we play as him instead?

GC: You’re not the only one.

wait and see
Just wanted to write in because of the Reader’s Feature over the Activision Blizzard takeover. All of this talk that its ruining gaming is utter nonsense. Let’s not pretend we know what’s happening behind closed doors.

It’s becoming tedious at the amount of gamers that think that if they were the CEO they would do this and that. The truth is that we know nothing other than buying and playing games. Gaming hasn’t really changed for me. A game gets announced and I decide if it’s for me or not. It’s that simple.

GC: We’re all sick of hearing about it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly important. Nothing has changed because the deal hasn’t gone through yet.

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

sci fi souls
Visions Of Escaflowne would actually be a great influence for FromSoftware, I didn’t know it was ever a suggestion. There’s been a lot of talk among fans of From doing a more sci-fi take on a Soulslike but I struggle to see how that would work. I’ve heard something with HR Geiger style visuals suggested as a good idea and while I do think that would be great I’ve seen nothing to suggest From has any interest in that sort of thing.

Armored Core is the only sci-fi thing they’ve ever seemed to do and I assume that Visions Of Escaflowne would be more similar to that than it would Dark Souls or Elden Ring.

What surprises me more than From not doing a sci-fi Souls is that nobody else has. Sure there have been some, like The Surge, but they’re pretty low budget and don’t really take much advantage of the technology angle. If I was a publisher looking to make an Elden Ring clone, that’s the route I’d go.

GC: We don’t think it was ever going to be an official adaptation, just that Miyazaki wanted to do something inspired by it.

The science of magic
Have you ever wondered how magic healing potions would work from video games? Well, magic, obviously. But when does the magic take effect?

It can’t wait for digestion, that takes too long, right? So, does the healing start the moment the potion goes down your throat or when it hits the stomach? Usually, stronger potions are just more of it.

I ask the important questions that nobody else here asks!

GC: A second’s difference isn’t going to make much of a difference in a turn-based game.

Comment box
Sorry to be a moaner here but your new homepage is a bit of a mess on iPhones. The text doesn’t always fit under the image and ends up squashed or with missing stuff. The extra bold font also means it’s a bit of a nightmare to pick through the titles and, though your content is as lovely as ever, it’s just incredibly difficult to navigate to the good stuff.

There also seems to be an issue with the ordering of the stories/reviews, with old stuff seemingly knocking new stuff way down the page. Ordinarily, I’ll happily embrace change but this new layout means I’ve been far less engaged with your site over the last few days and I’ve just gone elsewhere while missing a load of your lovely stuff.

Don’t want to sound like one of those people but it’s become a real tricky site to navigate.

Sorry about the negative message and keep up the good writing.

GC: It’s a site wide change, so we don’t have any direct control over it. However, we will pass your message on and if anyone else has any comments, positive or negative, let us know and we’ll do the same. If you could indicate the device and browser you’re using that would be especially helpful.

Limited time offer
You can get a free seven day trial of Nintendo Switch Online currently on the My
nintendo website. You have to redeem it before Sunday, March 26th, so very soon. It is available for zero Nintendo points.

You can’t claim it if you have an active online account already. I haven’t so I might give it a try.
Andrew J.
PS: Don’t forget the Wii U and 3DS Shops close a week today (Monday at the time of writing). Just buying the last few games that I want this week, before it all goes!

Variable difficulty
I’ve got a question that needs answering. So, the Steam spring sale is underway and I’ve seen Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, on sale. It’s on for £24.95 and off 50%. I’ve heard a lot about the mechanics and the overall difficulty. It’s based on a parry and deflect system. I’ve never been great at parrying, I count it as luck and the right move, made at the right time.

I’d love to buy the game, because I’m a fan of the developers. But I’m put off by the challenge and the extreme penalty for dying. I wanted to ask simply, that I know Sekiro isn’t a walk in the park but is it a manageable experience? I mean, will I have to worry about regretting spending £25 on a title that I’ll most likely either give up on or never manage to master?

I’m a quick learner for sure but like I stated beforehand, I’m intimidated by the difficulty. But I’ve put off buying this game for four years, so I’ve had a lot of time to ponder. Should I purchase the game or will I live to regret it?
shahzaib sadik

GC: Sekiro’s difficulty is hard to quantify, as to some it’s easier than other From games and to others it’s more difficult. It all depends on how good you are at parrying, so we’re afraid to say it’s probably not the game for you.

Inbox also-rans
We are getting a lot of F-Zero rumors at the moment, could Nintendo really be building up to something? It probably will be just a remaster but I imagine Metroid Prime has given them a lot of confidence to give it a go. I could see F-Zero GX Remastered being surprisingly big.

Even with the hype from the TV show is anyone really interesting in a multiplayer spin-off from The Last Of Us that doesn’t feature any of the main characters? I know I’m not sold and they’ve had years to build up the hype at this point.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grant, who asks whether you’ve ever dreamed about video games?

That doesn’t mean daydreaming about an imagined sequel or remake but a game that has had such an effect on you that it’s ended up in your dreams. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare but what games have you dreamt about and why do you think they made it through to your subconscious?

Was it because you were playing them a lot or because their story or gameplay had a profound effect on you? Or do you find it inexplicable that they turned up that way?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@metro.co.uk

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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